Delaware County District Library patrons now can start a podcast or edit their latest song without fear of being shushed in two of the system's branches.
The library began installing audio booths late last spring at the Main Library in Delaware and its Orange branch, opening them to the public in the fall.
Library spokeswoman Nicole Fowles said the two booths, microphones and related equipment cost the system about $15,000. She said library officials saw a need for the nearly soundproof booths before purchasing them.
"People were coming into the library and they were asking for a study room and trying to lead a webinar from the study room," she said.
Fowles said the booths offer improved acoustics for patrons looking to chat remotely without disturbing others. She said the booths also can be used by patrons recording or editing songs and podcasts.
"We call them sound-minimizing booths," Fowles said. "They're not (soundproof)."
Patrons may reserve the audio booths for up to two hours at a time. Fowles said the library system allows patrons of all ages to use the equipment, noting library employees will monitor activity at the booths.
"It's very safe," she said. "There's always a staff member who can walk by and see what's happening."
Hardware in the booths includes a computer, a microphone, a pop filter and headphones.
The library's Orange branch March 9 hosted a Music Remix Workshop in part to show off the booth.
"The point is to get (kids) aware of our new audio booth and the cool things you can do with it," library associate Courtney Cousins said.
Patrons -- some carrying musical instruments -- increasingly have been reserving the booth in recent months, Cousins said.
The event was part of the Delaware County District Library's participation in Teen Tech Week. Library systems nationwide offer tech-themed activities to engage young patrons.
"The purpose behind it was to show teens that libraries have more than just books -- they have cutting-edge technology," Fowles said.
Fowles said this year marked the first time the district library had a week's worth of events tied to Teen Tech Week.
"The feedback that we've heard so far has been overwhelmingly positive," she said.